Chelsea 0-2 Swansea: 5 Talking Points from Capital One Cup Semifinal
Swansea have beaten Chelsea 2-0 on their own turf in the Capital One Cup semifinal. Of all the possible outcomes touted before the game, this was one of the least likely.
Chelsea dominated possession and created a number of chances, but a combination of pure profligacy and Gerhard Tremmel having the night of his life in the Swansea goal made for ugly reading on the scoreboard.
Here are five talking points from the game.
Nice to Michu
We learnt a lot about one of the English Premier League's finest goalscorers on Wednesday night.
Michu may be a technically-skilled finisher, but he's also an incredibly clever forward with a high footballing IQ. He bode his time and played an opportunistic role, and despite his constant chasing and harassing in a defensive capacity, still had the legs to finish past Ross Turnbull with aplomb.
He bought free kicks from minimal contact in key areas and situations, giving his team much-needed restoration periods. An all-round "team-first" game from the star man in South Wales.
(Credit to B/R commenter Irving Marino for the pun)
Gerhard Tremmel Has a Career Game
Chelsea fans inside Stamford Bridge voiced their discontent at the final whistle, but many of their jeers were simply the result of sheer frustration.
The Blues dominated this game from start to finish, and Swansea completed a textbook smash-and-grab victory in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Attack after attack was thwarted by the Swans' defence, and if there's one player largely responsible for keeping his side in it, it's Gerhard Tremmel.
Michael Laudrup made a bold call by instating him in goal over fit-again Michel Vorm and it paid off—what an unbelievable night for the German.
Fernando Torres Digs Himself a Hole...
But with every surprise comes an opportunity, and this was the Spaniard's chance to respond to the pressure his new Senegalese striking colleague had heaped on his shoulders.
It was another bad night for the £50 million man, proving he's made no progress since Ba walked in the door.
...Demba Ba Is Set to Prosper
If you heard the rapturous applause Demba Ba's late arrival was subject to, you'll know the fans have well and truly spoken.
Fernando Torres is not a popular figure at Stamford Bridge, and Rafa Benitez would be nuts to start with anyone other than Ba up front for Chelsea's next fixture.
In the 10 minutes Ba was on, he had a penalty shout declined, scored a goal that was questionably ruled offside and fired two good chances just wide. The only two times Ashley Williams was bested? When Ba got above him to win headers in the box.
Torres' contribution over 80 minutes—one speculative shot from distance and one silky pass from the right-hand touchline on the break—pales into insignificance.
Rafa Benitez Does Himself No Favours
Rafa Benitez has been fighting an uphill battle since day one.
He accepts that, and he will also accept a result like this doesn't help his cause.
He had every right to gauge Fernando Torres' reaction to Demba Ba's two-goal haul at St. Mary's Stadium on Saturday by starting him, but it was clear by the 30th minute that the Spaniard was going to be of no use.
Why, then, did Ba only get 10 minutes? It's arguable that, given just five more minutes, the Senegalese hitman could have bagged a vital goal.
Of course, Benitez will point to a bad day at the office in order to escape the Torres-Ba debate, and truthfully put, he's right to do so.
How often does Branislav Ivanović make mistakes? How often does he make two horrendous ones?
As wonderful a result this is for Swansea, Chelsea fans can at least take solace in the fact that this game, 99 times out of 100, is a home win. If Ba starts at the Liberty, we've got a game on our hands.